Any Roadmap for C2 Linux kernel update

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Any Roadmap for C2 Linux kernel update

Unread postby kfowler » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:27 am

I am considering the C2 for a commercial product. Currently it appears that Hardkernel only supports the 3.14 Linux kernel in its Ubuntu images. Is there a roadmap/plan for updating to a more recent Linux kernel?

My concern is that the 3.14 kernel was EOL a year ago, and so is not getting security updates (in particular).

I know I could try to roll my own, but that is not our main competency so I would perfer to rely on the official Hardkernel or other well-supported Linux distro releases for the C2.

Kevin
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Re: Any Roadmap for C2 Linux kernel update

Unread postby crashoverride » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:33 am

kfowler wrote:Is there a roadmap/plan for updating to a more recent Linux kernel?

The next expected kernel from Amlogic is 4.9 (ETA unknown). Concurrently, mainstream (4.x) is also supporting the S905/C2.

For commercial products, the best model is that used by Fortune 500 companies and major datacenters: Kernel 3.x. Untrusted or sensitive workloads can be run in a virtual machine utilizing any mainstream 3.x/4.x kernel version desired. This provides the best of both worlds.
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Re: Any Roadmap for C2 Linux kernel update

Unread postby kfowler » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:37 pm

Thanks for the quick reply!

I noticed that www.cvedetails.com lists only two known security vulnerabilities for 3.14.79 kernel, which seems pretty good.
The only issue is that if this kernel's use is declining (due to end-of-life), then as-yet-undiscovered vulnerabilities may not get exposed and documented.

But the path of least risk given our skill set is probably to use the hardkernel distro and upgrade when Amlogic releases the 4.9 version (and Hardkernel releases an associated set of distros).
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Re: Any Roadmap for C2 Linux kernel update

Unread postby brad » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:29 pm

crashoverride wrote:For commercial products, the best model is that used by Fortune 500 companies and major datacenters: Kernel 3.x. Untrusted or sensitive workloads can be run in a virtual machine utilizing any mainstream 3.x/4.x kernel version desired. This provides the best of both worlds.


While I can agree running your chosen OS in a VM on-top of hardkernels 3.14.y is a good idea security wise I cannot agree that 3.14.y is anything like enterprise Linux kernels such as Redhat 3.10.x. Redhat do not update kernel version numbers with new kernel releases ever. For example Redhat Enterprise Linux 6 was released with 2.6.32_yyy in 2010 and this number is still used 7 years later although we have many of the features of 3.x / 4.x incorporated into the latest Redhat 2.6.32.yyy for RHEL6. For Redhat Enterprise Linux 7 the initial kernel version was based on 3.10.0_yyy and already incorporates many of the features and bugfixes of a 4.x mainline kernel.

Redhat (and some other Enterprise class Linux vendors) have had an aarch64 early adoption program going on for some years now and some customers are using it for production workloads. Its based roughly on 4.4.x. and targeted at large scale cloud computing hosted on armhf and aarch64 server hardware.
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